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Dylan Grice On Ignoring The Economists' Perpetuation Of The Illusion Of Control, And Instead Focusing On What We Do Know

Tyler Durden's picture




 

In his most recent Popular Delusions piece, SocGen's brilliant Dylan Grice once again rightfully demolishes the shamanic rituals of the "alternate universe" theory, better known as economics, ridicules economists for the hack priests of financial paganism they are, and concludes what may be the key principle of modern cynical thought: "Some have said that the key risk investors face today is of ‘policy error’. But isn’t that always the key risk? Financial history is one long series of ‘policy errors’ and while policy makers labour under the delusion that they know the unknowable it will remain so. All investors can do is try to see the funny side, and focus on things we can know." Incidentally, focusing on the funny side is precisely what Zero Hedge has been doing for just over a year and a half (much to the dismay of our ever growing detactors and critics). Add some intelligence to the discourse, and one gets in 18 months more actual policy changes (Fed Audit, the end of Goldman Prop (a topic we were digging into long before Volcker was resurrected from the dead), banning Flash trading, inquiry into High Frequency Trading and daily market manipulation), more than others who in lengthy, rambling, somnolent, rants and essays have achieved in decades. Since mixing humor and "focusing on what we know" is all we know, we will continue doing it, until we succeed in terminally discrediting the most worthless voodoo "science" ever conceived by man - economics, and overturning its one most destructive construct - the central bank and the implicit central planning that goes side by side. But in the meantime, here is Dylan's most recent fusion of humor and scathing condemnation of the idiots who will gladly destroy the US economy in their pursuit of a theory which is proven to be more and more flawed, fake and destructive with each passing day.

Dylan on the basis of the illusion of control:

The pedestrian ‘push’ buttons at New York’s intersections don’t actually work. They were deactivated in the 1970s when computer-controlled automatic traffic signals were installed but left in place because removing them is too costly. Apparently most ‘close door’ buttons in lifts don’t work either. But give us a button and we’ll press it, not because the button works but because the sense of being in control makes us feel good (when subjects are crammed into a lift for example, those closest to the controls show lower stress levels). Feeling in control doesn’t mean that we are in control, but who cares? As Slartibartfast said in Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “I’d rather be happy than right!”

Slartibartfast would have been a splendid economist. Squabbling amongst themselves in the press - when fiscal retrenchment should proceed; where monetary policy should go from here; how to avoid deflation; etc – they use loaded words such as “optimal”, “equilibrium” and “calibration”, language which gives the impression of learned discussion between experts who understand their subject matter. In fact, the overwhelming evidence of regular financial calamity (which has unambiguously increased as central banks have gained influence, see chart below) clearly demonstrates that they do not. But that doesn’t deter our brightest economists from happily believing their own propaganda. They really think they’re in control!

Let them press their buttons. Let them believe they know the unknowable if, like Slartibartfast, it makes them happy. Frankly, there’s not much we can do, other than allow the occasional giggle and avoid making the same mistake of failing to accept that some things just can’t be known. Our effort and energy should focus on what can be.

On the creation of ad hoc theories to explain a constantly changing reality, on their endless inability to predict even one day into the future, and on covering up that economists are really just the most insecure, unintelligent, overrated hacks ever produced by Ivy League universities.

A famous MIT economist earnestly warns on a prominent website that “the US may be near a liquidity trap” where monetary policy may no longer be ‘effective’ (whatever that means: effective at what, inflating bubbles?) Fear not though, and let the trumpets sound out, for our macroeconomists are riding to the rescue “ … the ineffectiveness of monetary policy can be turned on its head by using money creation to finance fiscal policy stimulus – such as a large but temporary cut in sales taxes. To avoid future problems, the Treasury could commit to transfer resources back to the Fed when the economy is back to full employment.” This is a brilliant solution … it’s smart … it might even be sexy. But there’s one glitch - how do we know when we’re at full employment? Didn’t the Irish think they were at sustainable and full employment in 2007, only to discover that they had been dangerously overheating?

Not to worry, another report on my desk warns against premature austerity. To give its argument added weight it quotes Keynes: “The boom, not the slump is the right time for austerity.” The authors are concerned that mistimed government retrenchment might cause more unemployment than necessary. Who would argue with such sentiments? Who wants to see high unemployment? But how will they know when the economy is booming? Knowing when it collapses is easy enough: spikes in unemployment hurt; market panics hurt … but booms? Like full employment; how do we know when we’re there?

During the boom, Ben Bernanke didn’t know it was a boom and dismissed the very notion of a US housing bubble. During the boom, the clever economists at the helm, who today diagnose the economy’s ills and confidently suggest its remedies, said then that the cycle had been tamed, that leverage which was once dangerous was now prudent. During the boom, the UK’s Chancellor boasted that he’d “put an end to boom and bust.” During the boom, the few lone voices pointing out the dangers of the credit inflation were dismissed as “perma bears” During the boom, everyone thought the boom was normal, leading us to where we are today. There was certainly no talk of ‘austerity.’

...On what we don't know (or at least what we should admit to those reading us, we have no clue). And yes, this is directed solely at Paul Krugman, and all the other prize Keynesianites of the world.

Never mind. Keynesian poster boy and Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman gushes over Richard Koo’s conclusion that even though Japan’s level of nominal GDP today is lower than it was in 1992, the nearly two decades of fiscal stimulus was the most successful in history, for without it Japan would have experienced a much worse decline! Conclusion? We need more fiscal stimulus to get the economy back to ‘full employment’… forget for now that no one has, has ever had, or is ever likely to have any accurate idea of where ‘full employment’ is: macroeconomists are now basing policy recommendations on intrinsically speculative and unprovable counterfactuals! I understand the intuition, but he can’t know that Japan’s stimulus has improved the lot of its people, or indeed what the full consequences of the stimulus are.

I could go on … the FT reported on 1 September (see Greece debt default seen as ‘unlikley’ – FT.com) the IMF estimates of the UK and US’s “fiscal space” and the conclusion that they can increase their debt by another 50% of GDP without a crisis. I hope they’re right, but their guess is as good as my cat’s. There just is no “trigger” beyond which debt crises happen (chart above) and we have no idea how much “fiscal space” governments have until they have none ...

...On what we do know, or what we should do with the things we have some control over...and not just a Keynesian illusion thereof:

But what can we do? Chuckle, and focus on doing homework in areas where we at least have a chance of knowing. We know, for example, that scarcity is developing in certain commodity markets and that China’s age of self sufficiency in things like coal and grain is probably over. We know that historically when a large producer has turned to world markets those markets have become vulnerable to violent upward spikes. We also know that wars have frequently been fought over scarce resources and that China now has more fighter ships than the US.

We know that the developed economies’ demography is set to decline and that while we’re not sure what the effect will be, that Japan’s experience isn’t encouraging. We know that overstretched government balance sheets have historically posed an inflation risk but that bond yields are at levels rarely seen in the past few centuries, let alone decades. We know that entry valuations determine long-run returns and so bonds are likely to be an appalling investment here. We also know that while equities still aren’t cheap in an absolute sense they’re as cheap as they’ve been since the crash of 2008, so there are bound to be opportunities within these markets for providing decent long-run returns (see chart below). And we know that as we’re exploring the many (hopefully) profitable areas in the coming months, the Slartibartfasts will be in their fool’s paradise, pressing their buttons and in their own tragi-comic way, adding to the richness of the whole experience.

And people wonder why we don't offer wholsale policy suggestions - indeed, what is the point when the entire house of cards is doomed by daily gyrations as the entire market and all investors can't focus their attention on anything more than a few seconds into the future, even as the reality behind the flashing stock tickers is turning darker with each passing day... Just sit back, relax, and watch the show as it unfolds. It will be hilarious from start to (imminent) finish.

 

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Sat, 09/04/2010 - 17:25 | 563950 cossack55
cossack55's picture

"discrediting the most worthless science known to man..."

I thought you were referring to Political Science.  Maybe a tie?

 

Speaking of laughs, check out The Daily Bail.com  British TV Bird and Fortune discussing CDOs, CDSs, and SIVs.  I would leave the link if I were bright enough to figure out how.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 09:37 | 564517 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Thanx.  See, I knew it would take a scientist!

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 17:14 | 563952 RickFromGeorgetown
RickFromGeorgetown's picture

Excellent article as usual. It really is getting scary out there (you can only buy so much gold <smile>).

Have a great Labor Day weekend,

Rick

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:05 | 564166 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You have hit on it, Rick.  More and more I see things in ounces of silver.  Buy that parka at the local sports shop?  Hmmm.   That's 2 ounces of silver.   Nah, I'll take the silver.   Buy a new flat screen 50 inch TV?  Nah, that's an ounce of gold -- almost.  Throw in some cycling togs and I've got the cash for the gold.   It's all in perception.  Funny how that changes over time.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 17:45 | 563973 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

The "economics" mentioned is MACRO economics.

All schools of MACRO seem to be "out of order" LOL.

If there is any good news it is on the MICRO side.  All those little micros are cutting back, paying off their debt to Pharaoh, and getting ready for harder times.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 17:56 | 563981 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

No, the Austrian school is not "out if order".

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 12:51 | 564608 chrisina
chrisina's picture

that's because you don't understand its assumptions

Austrian school is as junk as the rest

 

The fundamental praexological axiom that preferences are revealed in action is just as voodoo as the basis of neoclassical (keynesian and monetarist) economics. That you prefer a product or service at a given price doesn't mean that you wouldn't at a different price.

The logical deduction that collective action is inefficient is just circular reasoning that tend to appeal to libertarians.

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 12:50 | 565839 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

"The logical deduction that collective action is inefficient  is just circular reasoning that tend to appeal to libertarians."

On the contrary: It is self-evident that an anthill for example is very efficient. You can really get some shit done with lots of disposable slaves. 

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 15:45 | 565901 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

The logical deduction that collective action is inefficient is just circular reasoning that tend to appeal to libertarians.

Libertarians have no problem with voluntary collective action. Such is the basis for most human progress.

 

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 17:48 | 563975 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Keynesianism explained in under 30 seconds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij_jWDmvBDw

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:12 | 564091 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

thanks for that

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 18:21 | 563991 breezer1
breezer1's picture

i remember a clown who's inflated ego led him to titled positions until one day he published an oil and gas report. it was so full of bullshit he became an embarrassment to the organization and was removed, or promoted. if i had an employee who shovelled that much crap he /she would only do it once. 

anyway, it reminded me of a carson show many years ago. carson once had a guest who rode an elephant down madison avenue draped with a large banner advertising something. he did it without a permit from the city and when arrested he quickly made bail and paid a large fine when he pled guilty. of course the amount he received from the advertiser was much more. it made the prime time news.

the next guest was an economist who was really full of himself and bullshit. carson showed  that he was impressed with his knowledge when he admitted that it was all too complicated for him. thats when the elephant guy asked the economist if this wasn't following along with degroot's theory . the economist said ' yes it was'.

after the next commercial the elephant guy sat alone next to carson when he told johnney that he didn't know who this degroot fellow was but it sounded good. the economist's life changed drastically that night. we need more elephant riders.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:13 | 564092 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Great story. bring on the elephant riders.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 11:05 | 564565 snowball777
snowball777's picture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_De_Groot

Pretty sure he didn't waste his time with anything as inane as economics; some people can do real math.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 18:32 | 564000 LostWages
LostWages's picture

This time is different.  We just don't know what the difference will look like.

The mountains of debt the sovereigns issued is "insured" many times over by the CDS casino.  Yes, this time is different all right, we have taken debt levels to new highs and are able to bet against it.

When the first domino goes over, the fun begins.  Those who bet on the collapse may find difficulty collecting their winnings.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:11 | 564170 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

When the first domino goes over, the fun begins.  Those who bet on the collapse may find difficulty collecting their winnings.

Seems to me that the first domino has already flipped, as has the second and maybe the third.

I don't believe this baby's coming down with a crash. No, it's coming down nice and slow so we can all enjoy it.

Know anybody who lost their job? How about somebody who lost their home? How about some people whose 401k plan is so deflated that they can't retire anymore?

How about those guys living under the freeway bridge? Or the MBA who's managing a burger joint because the bank where she worked got gobbled up by the big boys?

Don't sit back and wait for the NYT or Fux News to tell us the collapse happened at 3:59 this afternoon. It's going on now. You're soaking in it.

Each of us will have a different experience, just like the highly popular 'Depression' that we look back at so nostalgically.

Some of us will do okay, while a lot of us are going to lose wealth, health and maybe even our lives. Or watch loved ones die from even more inadequate health care than they're getting now.

Prepare for it the best you can. Figure out how your family is going to live with a lower profile if gasoline hits $10 a gallon, the county triples your property tax to make up for nobody else paying theirs, intermittent deliveries to your favorite food store because the diesel is $12 a gallon and truck drivers can't afford to drive.

Collapse is a process, not an event. But there WILL be a lot of nasty events that will figure prominently for their entertainment value as the tent comes down.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 23:11 | 564245 Hulk
Hulk's picture

You have accurately described things so far, but as GL has described, the end (hyperinflation) could come fast. be prepared to pick up assets when there is blood in the streets...

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 14:45 | 564862 grunion
grunion's picture

Some tell me that relates to buzzards.

I have always found that statement greedy and elitist. Gee, I wonder why?

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 15:51 | 564948 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Its just reality grunion, buzzards exist for good reason.

BTW, if GL's scenario occurs, I'll be buying up valuable pasture land, adding to our already existing pasture farm. Folks will benefit by a much higher quality of food....which is in high demand at this time

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 09:11 | 564502 Landrew
Landrew's picture

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

1. Understanding this process isn't signaled by a point in time.

2. Energy effects everything.

3. There is hope if you prepare.

4. Still finding humor in life:)

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 18:33 | 564001 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Soon we will no longer have the luxury of meddling in other nation's affairs.

 

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 19:37 | 564060 knukles
knukles's picture

Great.  Just fucking great.
So instead of meddling in other nations affairs, they'll spend full time meddling in our own. 
Now that's a peachy, uplifting, altruistic, noble vision if I've ever seen one. 
Where do we move?

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:09 | 564168 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Where do we move?

To the country that we last stopped dicking with.  They will prosper.

We will have milked them dry so the only way to go will be up.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:21 | 564186 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Where do we move?

 

To the country that we last stopped dicking with.  They will prosper.

We will have milked them dry so the only way to go will be up.

If memory serves, correctly, that would be "The Shores of Tripoli."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

So this means an exodus to Morocco to avoid the blowback? Damn, and I thought Utah sucked, but Morocco? Ewwwww!

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:22 | 564300 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I guess it becomes, "Anywhere but here", Doc.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:44 | 564486 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Beautiful!

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 18:58 | 564023 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

'Owners of a Chinese Restaurant in Salem Or are nearly BK, Quiznos next door closed 6 months ago... Almost all patrons were from the ranks of 'public unionized employees', in public buildings across the street and in surrounding area.'...Mish missed the real point here in his blog.

The cutbacks in spending in the private sector are coming from all segments of the employeed and the unemployeed.

The public sector workforce in Salem has not seen major cuts in their ranks. So, what is wrong with biz at the small restaurants?

A topic that is rarely discussed by 'economists'...fear created by the indecision of economists and the Fed. Fear of new fiscal policy decisions that might come without warning.

The economists have accomplished one thing. They have scared the crap out of ordinary people. Fear of the unknown future decisions by the Fed and by fiscal policy is frightening the people (the would be consumers). People that know nothing about economics sense that the clowns in charge of this circus don't have a clue what they are doing...except stealing from the poor to bouy the wealthy.

Gold... The last retreat to safety in a world of economists gone mad. 

 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 15:48 | 564947 VeloSpade
VeloSpade's picture

I went to get a haircut the other day.  The normal place I go down the street seemed kind of busy.  I didn't feel like waiting so I ventured off to the other side of town (that I had not seen in a couple years) in search of another barber.  I drove into 3 different shopping plaza's before finding a place to get my haircut.  Two of the three were 90% vacant, while the other about a 1/3 full.  The neighboring mall lost one of it's major anchor department stores and appears to have lost about 40% of its other stores.  Ghost Town USA, coming soon to a city near you?

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 06:16 | 565565 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

You want a haircut?

Buy bonds!

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 19:16 | 564038 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

On top of the immense hubris of economists and those who completely trust them one often finds amazing ignorance.

Geithner who received an M.A. in International Economics is quoted in the most recent issue of The New Republic as saying, during a phone call with representatives of Germany, who were refusing to drop austerity plans in favor of a stimulus spend-a-rama, that the germans sounded "a little bit like Hoover".

That Hoover ran unprecedented peace time deficits and interfered massively in the market, including signing the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariff bill, is , apparently, unknown to Turbo Tax Timmy, holder of an M.A. in international economics.

Why bother with knowledge when you can just go straight to pretensions, eh Timmy?

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 19:47 | 564072 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Geithner's time and the interests of the USA would be better served if he had dialed a 1-900 number. 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:17 | 564471 fajensen
fajensen's picture

Turbo Tax Timmy, holder of an M.A. in international economics.

Maybe he got it from a mail order university?

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 19:41 | 564066 knukles
knukles's picture

Guys, it's not the economists who're responsible for this nightmare.  Economists merely advise.  Politicians debate, consider, weigh evidence and as mature, logical and responsible elected representatives, legislate in the best interests of thier populace.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 19:54 | 564076 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Yes in is the economists who are responsable, the politicians expect that the economists actually have something right.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:48 | 564118 jm
jm's picture

The bottom line is this.  In any social construction, all predictions fail given enough time.  The purveyors of the bullshit known as economic theory, Keynesian or Austrian or whatever, that do not acknowledge the limits of the theory are the problem.  If there is no honesty about the car lot full of bright shiny Yugos, the theories become just pissing contests concealed in jargon. 

The dishonesty makes it often about self-serving lying and delusion.  There are some who make fanatics out of themselves and others.  There are some that supply advice that justifies the status quo; at worst these get a cut of the action by justifying predator behavior on the governed.  On the other side of the issue is a fragmentation of alternative theories designed to enable a pack of wannabee replacements that at best want to “fix” everything.  At worst these want to impose a fanatical vision on the world and call it love of humanity.

 

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 23:45 | 564270 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

bullshit known as economic theory, Keynesian or Austrian

 

You are lucky you said that in cyber space because if you didn't, I would have punched you out.

Don't ever equate keynesianism with Austrain economics again.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:14 | 564470 jm
jm's picture

This is the fanaticism I am talking about.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 11:12 | 564574 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

+100

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 13:12 | 564691 chrisina
chrisina's picture

try to use your brain instad of your fists.

 

It's amazing that so many anti-social libetarians who hate government action equate the failure of keynesianism with the validation of such junk science as austrian economics

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 01:13 | 564337 murray
murray's picture

man, i junked you because this does not make sense.

 

austrian economic theory does not seek any imposition on human behavior but rather posits that a market-determined price is always the optimal regulator.

 

 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:36 | 564479 jm
jm's picture

People learn and adapt. Making predictions about people or how their institutions behave given uncertain conditions will ultimately become wrong.  "Market determined" prices are dependent upon human legislated laws, instituitions that interpret and enforce those laws, and interplay between people playing by the rules and those that break the rules.   

That is just what runs in the background.  People and even Goldman Sachs always have limited information about the world, and they can interpret the information incorrectly for long periods of time.  Many are too busy saying how the world should be without understanding how one can practically get there from here.  This is the imposition I am talking about.  It is not far from Karl Marx when it becomes like evangelism. 

I'm not ripping any particular theory over another, although some are better than others. Everyone theorizes to some degree... it's how we think.  Just saying direct observation with all its complications is primary.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 11:14 | 564579 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

I'm not ripping any particular theory over another, although some are better than others.

The one that I think deserves a good ripping is "game theory".

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 15:48 | 564949 jm
jm's picture

Just as with game theory, so with everything.  One counterexample blows the whole thing up.  Freedom House ranks Mali as a free libertarian society.  And yet the citizens remain among the poorest in the world, even for the "developing" world.

It is good that Mali has freedom.  Freedom is a desirable end in itself; Mali also has a long history of being a major center for Islamic scholarship in the Middle Ages.

That doesn't make laissez faire always work.

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 13:33 | 565961 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

"Freedom House ranks Mali as a free libertarian society."

Nonsense.  I seriously doubt you can even find the word "libertarian" anywhere in Freedom House's literature.

Beware of missionaries from the United States selling "freedom and democracy."  Even if done with the best of intentions (cough, bullshit, cough), enfranchising the uncivilized majority rarely if ever leads in practice to more liberty.

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 17:10 | 566248 ATTILA THE WIMP
ATTILA THE WIMP's picture

Freedom House is a CIA front.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 13:18 | 564699 chrisina
chrisina's picture

and how do you show that market-determined price is the optimal regulator?

 

circular reasoning trying to validate absolute moral philosophy disguised as opposition to collective action... 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:57 | 564492 RichyRoo
RichyRoo's picture

makes sense to me, interesting how just by criticising Austrian economics you recieved a threat of violence. I understand that illustrates your point perfectly. I was thinking about these topics last night, its funny how coincidences like that happen :)

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 14:53 | 564877 grunion
grunion's picture

I knew it! Complete congressional failure to do due diligence...lazy, lazy, lazy.

 

Easy now Bronco...

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:33 | 564196 Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

Yes, the primary problem is with politicians.  Most cannot abide the idea that the best thing they can do for the economy is get out of the way (maybe like the founders indicated in the constitution they drafted) and let people look after their lives and their business.

Most politicians have to insist they benefit society by continuously tinkering with it.  Otherwise how would they justify their existence, pay, perks and power and more importantly justify setting the rules to buy votes to get into office and stay there.

If that is the disposition of politicians, any economist who comes and tells them they need to keep their hands off will have few political patrons, no public outlets in the politically aligned mass media, no university appointments.

I appreciate this means most economists who ply their trade in offering public policy advice are prostitutes, but if the pay is good enough, there are always prostitutes in any field (remarkably like the AGW scam, where the advocates are mainly on the public payroll and the scientific critics are retired or amateurs [not necessarily in terms of knowledge and analysis]).

But since it is the politicians, political parties and aligned media who are paying (usually with the taxpayers' money) for advice, they are always going to find/create someone who will give the advice they want.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:00 | 564083 boeing747
boeing747's picture

USSR 1918 to 1989, closed door in 71 years.

US 1945 to 2016, this year US can no longer pay interest of debts.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:05 | 564086 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"Incidentally, focusing on the funny side is precisely what Zero Hedge has been doing for just over a year and a half (much to the dismay of our ever growing detactors and critics)."

 

Yeah, my bad, blame me.  I am working on better material and delivery, though.  Thank god they aren't pointing to poor grammer and punctuation.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:15 | 564176 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

If it weren't for bad grammar, lousy spelling and horrifying punctuation, ZH wouldn't be half as funny. So keep it up, my friends!

Besides, the message is a lot more important than the grammar.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:36 | 564185 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Yeah, working on spelling too.  Grammer lol.  And punctuation? Forget about it!

 

Edit: I haven't had a chance to share this until now, but I decided to take a course in writing at the local JC after running (read: lagging) with the ZH "big head" crew.  FWIW - I skipped that course and am now taking it online at ZHU.  The teachers doing the grading can be real a-holes sometimes, but this classroom is so much more entertaining. Seriously, a big hat tip to those who add to such a rich learning environment.  Tough class, though. 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 01:23 | 564313 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Junker - I am really curious to know why you thought any part of this was junk? It was written with sincerity and is an honest self evaluation.  If it's just because you don't like poor spelling, etc., no need to respond.  No surprise there.

 

EDIT:  Upon further review, I again ask that you show yourself. It would be very enlightening to understand where the judgement comes from.  No, I must demand that you show yourself.  If someone on this site decides to share some introspection/personal limitations, that should be respected.  Maybe you don't find "self exposing" one's imperfections to be appropriate?  Or perhaps it makes you feel uncomfortable?  Whatever the case, self examination, especially in the midst of others, is a sign of strength and power - and personal honesty.  So, tell me where the issue lies with you?

Even if you just don't like poor spelling, you are being called out. I'm not interested in attacking you, but as the old adage goes "you don't kick a dog when he's on his back."  I don't know if that's really an old adage, btw, but it works.  Step forward.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 02:12 | 564360 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Junker - I am really curious to know why you thought any part of this was junk?

Maybe some clown thought this was a circus just because of the atmosphere and that subtle smell in the air. Usually 16 of them travel in this little car, then all hop out at once, scaring the kids. So be prepared for 15 more junks when the rest of them leap out of that little bugmobile.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 02:24 | 564365 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Thanks for the heads up, I know they'll be coming.

 

Nothing to fear, friend, just stand up.  I'm waiting.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 09:08 | 564495 THE 4th Quadrant
THE 4th Quadrant's picture

My genteel friend. Don't take it so seriously. Maybe they junked you as a form of acknowledgment as there is no positive feedback control.

Either way the junk feature is one of those things that the folks who have been here for the whole year and a half(+,-) mostly ignore.

I for one don't use it because it falls within the purview of the One-Sidedness Fallacy and as such does not assist the reader in achieving a balanced understanding. In short it is anti-ZH which Tyler does not understand.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 14:58 | 564888 grunion
grunion's picture

As bizarre as it seems, I swear that did happen last week!

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:48 | 564319 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I'm auditing that one too...sitting in the back throwing spit wads, but at least I'm there.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 01:08 | 564333 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

lol, thanks.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 01:46 | 564351 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Everything you need to know about grammar and punctuation can be found in Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style," which is thin, thin, thin.

The Elements of Style (Original Edition)

http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Original-William-Strunk/dp/95629164...

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 02:03 | 564356 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Yeah, thanks for the info.  I'm generally happy with my abilities as a writer - away from ZH.  At ZH, I am in a different league, which is good.  ZH is pushing me,  and it's not just in the writing department.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 07:39 | 564463 nmewn
nmewn's picture

VI,

Don't worry about the grammer or spelling.

1/2 of the posters in the evening are drunk/high or getting there, but still bring more clarity to our economic situation than all the professors of smart who have advised our current & past leadership.

I've long held the view that risk taking, independent, critical thinkers, grounded in sound logic are given to exploring spirits or...and are in fact preferable to, sober zombies stamped out on an assembly line who can only move and think in a linear direction because that's they way they were programmed.

Don't be put off by anonymous junks or haughty holier than thou eggheads looking down their nose...you have to realize, in all likelihood, they can't even find the hood latch on their Volvo...LOL.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 12:54 | 564606 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Language is a tool for expressing thought, no more, no less. Why would one purposely avoid learning how to best use one's tools? I suppose that it's a symptom of laziness coupled with delusions of grandeur -- like a gang banger who believes that posing with a 9mm at a 90 degree angle negates any need to sight the weapon as he peppers away at everything in range except his intended target.

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 11:06 | 564789 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

“If it weren't for bad grammar, lousy spelling and horrifying punctuation, ZH wouldn't be half as funny. So keep it up, my friends. Besides, the message is a lot more important than the grammar.”

“I've long held the view that risk taking, independent, critical thinkers, grounded in sound logic are given to exploring spirits or...and are in fact preferable to, sober zombies stamped out on an assembly line who can only move and think in a linear direction because that's the way they were programmed.

Don't be put off by anonymous junks or haughty holier than thou eggheads looking down their nose...you have to realize, in all likelihood, they can't even find the hood latch on their Volvo...”

 

“Language is a tool for expressing thought, no more, no less. Why would one purposely avoid learning how to best use one's tools?”

 

“Don't take it so seriously. Maybe they junked you as a form of acknowledgment as there is no positive feedback control.

Either way the junk feature is one of those things that the folks who have been here for the whole year and a half(+,-) mostly ignore.

I for one don't use it because it falls within the purview of the One-Sidedness Fallacy and as such does not assist the reader in achieving a balanced understanding”

 

 

No one coming to this site should be afraid to express their views.  Not to say that those views won’t be vetted, dissected, refuted, and even dismissed as the ramblings of a madman/woman.  But even as this site lays out a gauntlet for the brave, it is bravery that should be encouraged here; and the absolute freedom to express one’s thoughts.

While a relatively select few are the regular voices of Zero Hedge, some tracking numbers appear to show that as many as a million(?) are listening on any given day.  And I would wager that those who are listening have something to say as well.  The question:  Who is allowed to participate in this experiment/community called Zero hedge?  In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter who comes to the table as the above mentioned vetting process absorbs the “thought provoking” and rejects the “ignorance.”

To those who have something to say; let your voice be heard.  As the one of the above quotes recognizes:

“If it weren't for bad grammar, lousy spelling and horrifying punctuation, ZH wouldn't be half as funny. So keep it up, my friends

Besides, the message is a lot more important than the grammar.”

Feel free to replace poor writing skills as the impediment for not wanting to contribute here.  Maybe it’s the fear of ridicule?  Whatever the case, Zero Hedge is clearly a more powerful message to the ones who must be exposed (fill in the blank) when more voices join the conversation.  Simply put - it is power in numbers.

Lastly, I would like to express my own view regarding the premise of “Fight Club” as it relates to those who want a voice here, and, for those who are really looking to affect change.  The rules (there are no rules) should be used with some degree of wisdom within our community.  Be your own guide on that one.  But for those who don’t already recognize how the many important “messages” of ZH are lost in the cacophony of “no rules,” just be aware – and make adjustments to your squelch control knob as necessary.

To those who so kindly provided the quotes/support for my “voice” last night; thank you.  And please rest assured - I didn’t take the Junk personally.  I did interpret the meaning of that junk as an affront to my voice.  And if you aren’t going to explain yourself when someone is asking you to, well, it’s Fight Club time.  Btw- the Junker has yet to explain. And if you are asking yourself what any of this has to do with finance(?)...nothing.

 

VI

 

 

 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 15:52 | 564955 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Language is a tool for expressing thought, no more, no less."

Yes it is.

"Why would one purposely avoid learning how to best use one's tools? I suppose that it's a symptom of laziness coupled with delusions of grandeur -- like a gang banger who believes that posing with a 9mm at a 90 degree angle negates any need to sight the weapon"

Well ya never know Crockett. Some people have motives...perceived as good or bad, whether intended as innocuous or not. I've regularly discerned what I believe to be Chinese, Middle Eastern & former eastern bloc posting's, on different topics and rarely (if ever) comment on their use of the English language. It's unimportant to me. Only clarity is important to me.

Sooo, no one jumped on my misspelling of the word grammar, sooo, we'll never know what my intent was, if any, for that...but I thought the messge was clear enough ;-)

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 16:28 | 564963 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

@nmewm

I interpreted Crockett's comment as an acknowledgement that learning to express one's self is a valuable tool, at face value. I do see your point, though.  I did catch the misspelling, btw. Subtle.  And to your point.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 16:43 | 564999 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"I interpreted Crockett's comment as an acknowledgement that learning to express one's self is a valuable tool, at face value."

I did as well. Crockett's all right & I agree to a point.

But to get all school marmy in a comment thread can get tedious. Just as you pointed out there may be many who would like to comment but don't out of thinking they will be mocked by the grammar/spelling nazis.

If one has the vocabulary & writing skills, use them...no problemo...just don't get all sanctimonius on those who don't. No one knows what their life has been like up to this point.

"I did catch the grammer thingy"

I need better bait ;-)

SeeYa V

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 17:09 | 565018 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"I need better bait ;-)"

 

That might depend on what you are looking to catch.  Zai Jian!

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:05 | 564087 wang
wang's picture

Ritholtz is boasting about his ranking based on a Wiko story on business blogs (zh does not appear to be included)

 

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/business-blog-rankings-trumped-by-k...

 

based on the preminent math site on the web

 

ZH pounds Ritholtz

 

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=zerohedge.com+ritholtz.com

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 21:26 | 564138 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:04 | 564165 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"Presented without comment..." or "Any questions?"

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:13 | 564173 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Quite self-explanatory, thank you.

Go, Hedge!

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:36 | 564197 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"Presented without comment..." or "Any questions?"

 

Rock, you gotta keep up. This was a play on the "M2" post as presented by TD.  A double entendre, if you will.

 

by Tyler Durden
on Fri, 09/03/2010 - 07:49
#561902

 

"Would you be more comfortable if the title of the post was: Open Threat: M2?"

 

I don't even know if "double entendre" is the right term in this case.  I saw someone use the phrase on a previous post and it just sounded good.  Also in keeping with critics of said ZH "silliness."

 

 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:24 | 564302 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

What?  You think I live for ZH?  I've got a real life the other 12 hours of the day.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:44 | 564316 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

All of 12, that's good! ;-)

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:49 | 564322 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

wow, he gets to sleep 12 hours? that's amazing.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 10:23 | 564539 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I usually just lay around relaxing: A Lazy Raccoon.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:15 | 564175 VK
VK's picture

TD = Epic!!

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 23:14 | 564249 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Nice increase TD, but only .04% of global internet users interested in this stuff is telling...

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:35 | 564309 agrotera
agrotera's picture

bravo TD!!!

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 07:52 | 564465 nmewn
nmewn's picture

BR is more interested in preening for cameras than in depth analysis and commentary or the societal impact of same.

ZH is the edge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHA-kflhoJ0

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:31 | 564104 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

I think they are finally willing to delve derper into econonomics.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:50 | 564323 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

<hiccup>

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 09:23 | 564508 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

should be FDR in that picture. - Ned

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 22:47 | 564214 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

But there’s one glitch - how do we know when we’re at full employment? Didn’t the Irish think they were at sustainable and full employment in 2007, only to discover that they had been dangerously overheating?

The more important glitch is the idiocy of the basic concept.  It's a Ponzi concept first, and second you can't trust Treasury's commitments in any case.  The simple solution is lower taxes and lower spending even more, or don't cut taxes but cut spending.  The days of the government once in a while having a spending program with a good to great ROIC such as the still-utilized example of the Interstate Highway System are long gone.

 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 09:24 | 564509 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

stop with the "sustainable" already. - Ned

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 00:04 | 564247 agrotera
agrotera's picture

 Brilliant!!

as much as i love economics, it is often used in a way that should be criminal... and when you consider the magnitude of the crimes being committed by the now legal special purpose entities, the same can be said for accounting...we just need honor and integrity voted into power and the privately owned Federal Reserve (aka the Fed cartel) out of business.

I love that you said, "their guess is as good as my cat's" !!!  

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 23:25 | 564258 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

I always suspected that Volcker was a zombie.

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 23:48 | 564273 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

TD - I'm personally glad you don't offer policy suggestions - except perhaps for a 'fair' market w/o HFT, etc. As you allude to - there are no policies that could extricate ourselves from the deep hole we dug for ourselves. The MSM can have their trite suggestions - that merely serve to distract the sheeple for one day more. None of it matters. 50% budget deficit. $1 quadrillion notional derivatives. Untold unfunded entitlements across society. Over-leveraged, underwater financial system. Debt to roll every year. Austerity = more depression (see Ireland, Greece). Keynesian spending = more debt to de-lever at some point. 

No way out but to default, destroy capital, and start again. 

No one wants to hear this though. Few interested parties in starting over. Inertia, fear of change, the unknown. It's too bad. It will be worse when unplanned. Hopefully the new system will start with the pillars of liberty, freedom, community, family. Joie de vive as opposed to debt servitude to the banksters/military industrial complex. Ironically, the harder it falls, the more likely the oppression will be worse the second time around (or are we at the third with the first being the pre-Revolutionary existence). 

Great site. I hope for the reset soon. The sooner it is, the less it will hurt...

p.s. I'm hoping my next book to read will be "one second after"...

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 04:20 | 564403 Eric Cartman
Eric Cartman's picture

Sitting back and watching the market crash unfold is gonna be so tits. 

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 05:53 | 564437 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

"Financial history is one long series of ‘policy errors’ and while policy makers labour under the delusion that they know the unknowable it will remain so."

 

Wow.  This sort of statement epitomizes why so many find ZH indispensable.  Eric Voegelin described modernity as "gnosticism" many decades ago, and was politely ignored  by most philosophers and political scientists. 

 

Yet the truth does have a way of making itself manifest.  Thanks TD and crew for all you do, sticking to humor and what you know.  Keep it coming!

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 13:20 | 564704 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

"The fate of mankind lies in the hands of fools"  -King Crimson

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 18:08 | 565088 sasebo
sasebo's picture

Economists, Bernanke, Geithner, et al have quite clearly proven themselves to be delusional. The only question is how long will it take the average voter to figure this out.

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 19:47 | 565204 No More Bubbles
No More Bubbles's picture

Uhhh, NO!  Not when they are all going to ZERO!

 

We also know that while equities still aren’t cheap in an absolute sense they’re as cheap as they’ve been since the crash of 2008, so there are bound to be opportunities within these markets for providing decent long-run returns

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 23:35 | 566548 pointingtrade
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